Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mixing Medicine for Small Flocks of Ducks and Geese

Originally posted by John Metzer on Wed, Mar 09, 2011 @ 04:21 PM

Oftentimes there is confusion on how to mix commercial sized packages of medicine or vitamin supplements for small flocks of ducks and geese. In addition, many injectable medicines are shown for heavy livestock, not smaller poultry. I will show you how to mix medicines for small flocks or individual birds using some simple examples.
Read the instructions Does it give one medication level for chickens and another for turkeys? If so, use the more dilute formula (more water/less medicine) as waterfowl drink more water per pound of body weight than non-waterfowl. Therefore they will get more medicine per bird.

Powder Medicine Open the package and measure how many teaspoons of medicine are in the package (assume for this example there are 12 teaspoons and the package is supposed to be mixed with 256 gallons of water). Divide the number of gallons of water by the number of teaspoons in the package: 256 / 12 = 21.3 gallons of water for every teaspoon of medicine. Knowing there are four ¼ teaspoons in every teaspoon, you can divide the 21.3 by 4 and get 5.3 gallons of water for every ¼ teaspoon of medicine. Knowing this, you can then mix slightly less than ¼ teaspoon of medicine in a five gallon bucket of water for your ducks and geese.
Liquid Medicine How many ounces of medicine are in the container? Assume 8 ounces and it is to be mixed in 128 gallons of water. Divide the number of gallons of water by the number of ounces in the bottle: 128 / 8 = 16 gallons of water for every ounce of medicine. As there are 6 teaspoons in every ounce, divide the 16 by 6 and you get 2.7 gallons of water for every teaspoon of medicine. Knowing what you learned above, you can now divide the 2.7 by 4 and it will show you that you can mix .7 gallons of water with every ¼ teaspoon of medicine.
Injectable Medicine Assume the package says to give 10cc medicine for every 200 pounds of body weight. Dividing 10 by 200 shows that you are to use .05cc for every pound of body weight. If you can, weigh your sick bird. If not, look at the weight ranges on our Duck Breed Comparison Chart and Goose Breed Comparison Chart on our website. Normally a sick bird will be on the lighter side. Assume you have a Khaki Campbell and it weighs four pounds. To determine how much medicine to give it, multiply its weight (4) by how much medicine it is supposed to get per pound (.05 in this example). This gives a dose of .2cc.

Rules for powder medicine:
Divide gallons of water by teaspoons of powder medicine to get how many gallons of water for each teaspoon of medicine.
To convert gallons of water per teaspoon of medicine, to gallons per ¼ teaspoon of medicine, divide gallons by four.
Rules for liquid medicine:                                                 Divide gallons of water by ounces of liquid medicine to get how many gallons of water for each ounce of medicine.
To convert gallons of water per ounce of liquid medicine, to gallons per teaspoon of medicine, divide the gallons by six.
Rules for injectable medicine:                                                For injectable medicine, divide cc's of medicine by pounds of body weight. Multiply this number by the weight of your bird to determine the dosage.
Explanation of Stock Solution  Most larger farms dispense medication via a proportioner. Normally one packet of medicine is mixed in one gallon of water and this is called the “stock solution”. Then the proportioner is set to pump one ounce of the stock solution in one gallon of drinking water. With this method, one packet will treat 128 gallons of water (there are 128 ounces in one gallon). Most of you will not be using a proportioner. I only explain this so you can understand why the label has information about a “stock solution.”
Summary These are just examples. You will have to do the math with your specific medicine. Remember to give the medicine as long as prescribed. If you don't, you are contributing to the proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria. You want the bacteria affecting your ducks and geese to be completely killed. If you stop medicating before instructed, there is a chance the more resistant bacteria will live and reproduce. If you medicate the prescribed length of time, there is little chance any bacteria will live – reducing the chances of antibiotic resistant bacteria developing.


  1. Very GOOD information...It really helped me with my birds, in my local store they only sell in large quantities and this will help much..THANKS!!

  2. I know you raise waterfowl and game birds. Can you supply this same information applied to chickens please? It would be extremely helpful to know. I use medications as little as possible but when I resort to them, I'm always somewhat baffled trying to figure out the dosages. How much per gallon of water is what I would need, or smaller amounts, even down to one cup if I have individual birds that need to be treated for something. Thank you.

  3. You can use the same formulas for mixing medicine for chickens or waterfowl or turkeys.